Berlin courtyard / Field Office

This is part three of our series about unrenovated buildings in Berlin, where a sense of the city’s past still lingers in entryways, courtyards, and stairways. You can read the introduction and find all posts in this series here. Or subscribe to receive future installments.

Winsstraße, Berlin
November 2012

Kietz means neighborhood in German but in a micro sense—a neighborhood within a neighborhood. Each Kietz has a personality and some are better than others depending on their mix of shops, cafes, and connection to the rest of the city.

The Winskietz is centered on the Winsstraße, where today’s building is located. I lived here (in the Kietz, not the building) for a couple of years and walked past this place many times but never snuck in for a look until last year. The thing anyone would notice is the sign out front and the crumbling facade now propped up permanently by some very unphotogenic scaffolding (see the last two photos taken in 2009 before the scaffolding went up).

Berlin circa 1990s is how this place feels to me. It is what the average Prenzlauer Berg apartment building looked like during that time. On this day it felt empty and lifeless and I couldn’t tell if it was the chilly weather keeping people indoors or if the building really is mostly unoccupied. Sometimes landlords choose to leave apartments empty after a tenant leaves, waiting it out until every last one is gone so that they can begin renovations. I wouldn’t be surprised if that is what was happening here.

Berlin courtyard / Field Office

Berlin bicycles / Field Office

Berlin courtyard / Field Office

Berlin courtyard / Field Office

Berlin courtyard / Field Office

Berlin painted sign / Field Office

Berlin old building / Field Office

Keep reading this series:

>> Part 1: Introduction, How to Find Old Berlin
The past lingers in the entryways and courtyards of Berlin’s unrenovated buildings. This is how we find it.

>> Part 2: Corner of Danziger & Senefelderstraße
A grand old building in Prenzlauer Berg has a foot in the past—but not for long.

>> Part 3: Stargarderstraße
Personal touches in common areas set the old buildings apart from the new.

Find the series archive, here.